Dental health is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding costly dental procedures, but you could experience even more benefits from keeping your teeth and gum healthy. Research has shown that oral health also impacts the health of many other parts of the body, consequently affecting your overall health and quality of life. If you want to live a healthy life, maintaining a good dental health routine can make a difference. Let’s have a look at how your body’s overall health can be affected by good oral health habits.
Decrease Your Risk of Getting Heart Disease
Several studies have shown that good oral health could be important to keep your heart in good shape. Gum disease has been associated with heart disease, blood vessel blockage, and strokes. While more research is necessary to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship, several studies show clear indications of the relationship between gum disease and a number of cardiovascular problems.
Effects on Memory and Risk of Getting Dementia
Periodontal (gum) disease has been linked with a higher risk of getting dementia. Studies also indicate that gum disease could lead to other cognitive problems such as memory loss.
Gingivitis was also associated with lower cognitive performance in a study done by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Better Self-Esteem and Confidence
A healthy, good looking smile could significantly improve a person’s quality of life. People with bad looking teeth and other dental health issues (such as bad breath) often avoid social situations because they are self-conscience about their dental issues and don’t want people to see their bad teeth or smell their breath. This can eventually lead to serious mental health issues such as depression. Dental issues can cause pain, which can affect the quality of sleep at night, and bring about discomfort during the day.
Infections and Inflammation
Bad dental health has been linked with a higher risk of developing infections throughout the body. Studies have linked periodontal disease with chronic inflammatory problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Conflicting Study Results on Gum Disease and Premature Birth
A few studies have linked gum disease with a higher risk of premature birth. More research is necessary though since a few other studies have not been able to make this association.
Either way it is advisable to seek treatment if you suffer from periodontal disease. It’s advisable to get treatment as soon as possible, before more damage is done to your teeth, gum, or other parts of your body are impacted.
It’s clear that oral health is important for several reasons. Even though many studies have not provided conclusive evidence on the relation between oral and overall health yet, more and more studies are showing links between dental health and a range of diseases and health problems. Make sure to maintain a good oral health routine, brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day, to avoid any of the negative effects that bad oral health can have.
Zane Schwarzlose writes for Greenspoint Dental, a Houston dental office. Zane likes having good oral health.
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